“Most landscape points, with the exception of green roofs, give low ROI over time in comparison to things like energy-efficient lighting,” Heller points out.
SITES is looking to change that. “Our rating system has 15 prerequisites and 51 credits, 27 of which are based in some way on a credit within the existing LEED for new construction and major renovations or LEED for neighborhood development,” Somerville explains. “In many instances, we’re just trying to take those existing credits above and beyond.”
Proposed Landscape Rating System
The SITES Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks encompass a series of prerequisites and credits for measuring site sustainability. Prerequisites are required. Credits are optional, although a certain number must be attained for a project to achieve eventual recognition as a Sustainable Site.
Rating System for Current Pilot Project Phase (250 possible points)
One Star – 100 points
Two Stars – 125 points
Three Stars – 150 points
Four Stars – 200 points
Index of Prerequisites and Credits
Site Selection (21 possible points) – Select locations to preserve existing resources and repair damaged systems.
Pre-Design Assessment and Planning (4 possible points) – Plan for sustainability from the onset of the project.
Site Design: Water (44 possible points) – Protect and restore processes and systems associated with a site’s hydrology.
Site Design: Soil and Vegetation (51 possible points) – Protect and restore processes and systems associated with a site’s soil and vegetation.
Site Design: Materials Selection (36 possible points) – Reuse/recycle existing materials and support sustainable production practices.
Site Design: Human Health and Well-Being (32 possible points) – Build strong communities and a sense of stewardship.
Construction (21 possible points) – Minimize effects of construction-related activities.